More Holiday Tips

Dec 21st, 2011 | By | Category: Family Time

Tips for a Successful Holiday Season

Take an inventory of everything. This includes tape and pens! The last thing you need is when you finally have the time to write out cards, notes or lists to find out you’ve lost your favorite pen. Or you sit down for an afternoon of gift wrapping and discover there is not one piece of tape in your entire house.

Create a plan and decide what is important to you. If you like everything under the tree to look color coordinated, decide on a theme before you buy wrapping paper. Unless you really like the color blue, you might want to avoid wrapping paper with blue in it. In pictures, blue tends to overwhelm the traditional colors of red and green. For added sparkle under the tree, choose shiny ribbon and bows as oppose to matte colored ones. Now that your gifts are dressed appropriately; what about your children? What will they wear on Christmas morning? Ratty, old, yet comfy PJs or matching, specially bought, wear-only-once Christmas PJs? A great choice for looking nice and saving money is to buy non-holiday PJs that are red or green. This way your children will look festive but you will also be frugal by purchasing something that will be worn more than once.

Make a shopping list. This should also include everything. I mean everything! From the biggest present to sugar for your trademark cookies! Take it with you when you leave the house, that way you will have it if you find you have a few extra minutes and can sneak in an errand.

Write up a budget. If you find that perfect gift on sale, great; but don’t make the mistake of feeling guilty and then buy another gift for that person. That can lead to thinking that you now need two gifts for every aunt, uncle and cousin and before you know it you’ve blown your whole budget and have twice as many gifts to wrap and ship. Speaking of shipping, don’t forget to include the cost of shipping in your budget. When you are shopping, keep in mind which gifts you will be shipping; you don’t want to pay more for shipping than what the gift costs.

Pre-shop – I know you are thinking that you barely have time to do the real shopping let alone pre- shop. In the end, you will find that it will save you time and money. You can save time by checking out the goods ahead of time; do you like the color, style or quality of an item. If no, there is no need to race out to the store when it is on sale. That perfect toy in the sale flyer might not look that good once it’s in your hands. It will also give you time to decide if it is something your child will really be interested in. Pre-shopping will also cut down on impulse buying. It can also eliminate the overspending that can happen if you are short on time and end up buying anything no matter what the price because you need that gift today.

If you have limited time to do baking, chose an easy recipe that you can use for more than one kind of cookie (refer to our Basic Cookie Recipe).

Take some time for yourself. Whether you prefer to read or to get a manicure, taking time for yourself will refresh you and help to keep the holidays in perspective. Both of which will help you as you take on your to-do list.

One thing that is easily forgotten is charging your camera. No one wants a dead battery in their camera on Christmas morning!

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